Event Title

Relative Abundance and Habitat Preferences of American Badgers and Plains Pocket Gophers in Mclean County, Illinois

Faculty Advisor

Given Harper

Graduation Year

2020

Location

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 10:00 AM

Description

American Badgers (Taxidea taxus) and Plains Pocket Gophers (Geomys bursarius) are fossorial mammals whose primary habitat has historically been prairie, which now comprises <0.01% of Illinois. Populations of both species are mostly confined to strips of non-native grass between roads and agricultural fields in central Illinois. The purpose of this study was to determine their relative abundance and habitat preferences in McLean County, Illinois, as no recent studies on either species have been conducted. We conducted 150.61 km of roadside automobile surveys for both species from September through November, 2017, in 7 townships in the southern and eastern parts of the county. In total, 63 (9 clusters) Pocket Gopher mounds (0.42 mounds/km) and 27 Badger dens (0.18 dens/km) were observed. The Pocket Gopher mounds were found in the 2 eastern townships, while Badgers were found in 5 townships in both southern and eastern townships. Spring surveys for both species are currently being conducted.

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 10:00 AM

Relative Abundance and Habitat Preferences of American Badgers and Plains Pocket Gophers in Mclean County, Illinois

Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

American Badgers (Taxidea taxus) and Plains Pocket Gophers (Geomys bursarius) are fossorial mammals whose primary habitat has historically been prairie, which now comprises <0.01% of Illinois. Populations of both species are mostly confined to strips of non-native grass between roads and agricultural fields in central Illinois. The purpose of this study was to determine their relative abundance and habitat preferences in McLean County, Illinois, as no recent studies on either species have been conducted. We conducted 150.61 km of roadside automobile surveys for both species from September through November, 2017, in 7 townships in the southern and eastern parts of the county. In total, 63 (9 clusters) Pocket Gopher mounds (0.42 mounds/km) and 27 Badger dens (0.18 dens/km) were observed. The Pocket Gopher mounds were found in the 2 eastern townships, while Badgers were found in 5 townships in both southern and eastern townships. Spring surveys for both species are currently being conducted.